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Eagles are on the Rise: Crunching The Numbers

With Week 5 in the books, I look through the statistics to rate each team. Take a look below to see how things changed, and (more importantly) how the Eagles fared.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

It was a more traditional week in the NFL as only three road teams walked out of enemy territory with a win. That isn't to say things weren't interesting: the Chargers blanked the Jets and Cleveland engineered the largest comeback win on the road in NFL history. But how do all of these things translate to numbers? Check out the rankings below.

Crunching The Numbers Rank Index, Week 5

1. Cincinnati (48.705): The Bengals have immediately become a thorn in my side because their ridiculously low sack rate (0.2 sacks/game) has given them an inflated score here. On one hand, if your quarterback is only getting sacked once every five games, your team is probably going places. On the other hand, the Bengals got thoroughly defeated by the Patriots last week. I don't think such a low sack rate is sustainable and it will show up later in the season. Last Week: 1, 39.656

2. San Diego (28.837): Philip Rivers and company are a serious threat in the AFC, even with their injury ward of a backfield. Throw in a defense that is playing lights out (12.6 points/game) and you have a team that will be a serious challenger to the Broncos in the AFC West. Last Week: 4, 18.846

3. Indianapolis (18.477): The Colts have won three straight games since starting the season 0-2. Their pass defense is starting to come into form by forcing 2.4 sacks per game and 14.6 incompletions per game. Last Week: 3, 19.280

4. Denver (17.078): The Broncos looked like the team that went to the Super Bowl last year coming out of their bye week. The defense is showing improvement and Peyton Manning is Peyton Manning by averaging 8 yards per pass attempt. Last Week: 10, 11.991

5. Baltimore (15.734): Give the Ravens credit for playing it close in Indy, but they couldn't pull it off. They're still doing damage on the ground (8 rushing first downs per game) but Joe Flacco's paltry 6.5 yards per pass attempt won't get them anywhere fast. Last Week: 2, 24.519

6. Seattle (14.996): The Seahawks are definitely not as intimidating on the road, but they're still getting it done. Their vaunted pass defense is allowing quarterbacks to post an average rating of 97.8 while the run defense is still suffocating with only 3.2 rushing first downs allowed per game. Last Week: 6, 13.837

7. Green Bay (14.406): Big strides were made this week by the Packers after their convincing win over the Vikings. The pass defense has been a pleasant surprise (70.5 passer rating allowed) and Aaron Rodgers is only averaging 10.2 incompletions per game. Last Week: 20, 6.074

8. Dallas (14.090): The Cowboys once again find a way to win, even if their struggles at home are concerning. Their pass rush hasn't shown up (1 sack per game), but as long as the running game can average almost nine first downs per game they shouldn't have to worry too much. Last Week: 5, 14.890

9. New York Giants (14.021): The G-Men really seem to be hitting their stride after their third straight win. The offensive line is holding up well enough (1.4 sacks per game allowed) and investments in their secondary have paid off with an opposing passer rating of only 76. Last Week: 9, 12.521

10. Houston (12.528): There is some fight in the Texans, but I'm not sure how much. Outside of their pass protection (1 sack per game allowed), their stats are just good enough to get them in the top ten. But they're not spectacular. Last Week: 7, 13.816

11. Philadelphia (10.919): The Eagles move up three spots after their win over the Rams, although they would have moved more without that fourth quarter defensive collapse. However, their statistics are really not much better than average, with the exception that they find ways to score (31.2 points/game). They'll have to keep up that pace in a way that's sustainable to be successful. Last Week: 14, 9.119

12. New England (10.239): Cincinnati picked the wrong week to catch the Patriots in a bad mood. Blowing out the league's last undefeated team helped here, but their numbers are nothing more than ordinary. Tom Brady's 6.1 yards per attempt are particularly concerning. Last Week: 23, 3.598

13. Cleveland (9.277): You can't really sleep on the Browns this year as they have shown time and again that they will fight for sixty minutes. Their defense does not impress, but as long as that offensive line holds up (8 rushing first downs per game, 1.2 sacks per game allowed) they will be competitive. Last Week: 15, 8.632

14. Detroit (8.804): A big letdown game against the Bills. Their defense is really getting the job done (2.6 sacks per game, 6.1 yards per attempt allowed) but the offense has some work to do. Last Week: 11, 11.476

15. San Francisco (8.663): What a weird front office situation for the Niners. That secondary is playing superbly (opposing passer rating of 78) in spite of an anemic pass rush that is only managing one sack per game. Last Week: 17, 7.552

16. Buffalo (8.637): Good for Jim Schwartz getting revenge on his former team (even if he was a terrible head coach). But as I said last week, almost nothing about the Bills is better than mediocre, which is why they stay put at sixteen. The exception is their pass rush, which is getting a punishing 3.4 sacks per game. Last Week: 16, 7.978

17. Atlanta (8.274): They were eleventh last week and I speculated that they would never be that high again. As long as that defense is still terrible, they will continue to drop. Last Week: 11, 11.394

18. Kansas City (7.636): San Francisco spoiled Alex Smith's "revenge game" last week, but the Chiefs seem determined to overcome their 0-2 start. Their ability to rush the passer is unquestionable (3 sacks/game) but the pass defense is soft with only 12.2 incompletions forced per game. Last Week: 13, 9.637

19. Pittsburgh (6.839): The Steelers got redemption last week, I guess, if you call putting up 17 points on the Jaguars and only beating them by eight redemption. Big Ben is getting sacked 3 times per game and the defense is nothing more than pedestrian. It could be a long season for Pittsburgh. Last Week: 21, 4.684

20. New Orleans (6.833): The Saints needed overtime to beat the Buccaneers at home, who are admittedly playing better. Still, the fact that they look beatable in the Super Dome is probably indicative of their season. Rob Ryan's defense, which was applauded for its performance last season, looks like the Rob Ryan defense of old and is giving up 28.2 points per game. Last Week: 24, 3.333

21. Miami (6.331): The Dolphins had a bye last week, so their score stays the same. Other teams made up some ground while they were off, however. Last Week: 18, 6.331

22. Arizona (4.627): The Cardinals should probably be higher, but that's what getting blown out will do to you (unless you're the Bengals). Their run defense is stout (4.8 rushing first downs/game) but they are really missing Carson Palmer (86.2 quarterback rating). Last Week: 8, 13.061

23. Chicago (2.839): This seems about right for the Bears. They have a lot of potential but it hasn't really showed up on the stat sheet. So they're here. Last Week: 22, 4.559

24. Carolina (2.043): Cam Newton is pretty much the only thing holding the Panthers afloat (passer rating of 100). Everything else about them says "6-10" or "7-9", but Newton can probably guide them to eight wins. Last Week: 26, -0.405

25. Washington (-0.950): The Redskins really gave it their all against the Seahawks on Monday night, which is admirable considering that they were embarrassed the week before by the Giants on the same field. But there are no moral victories in the NFL, and the only team that allows a higher opposing passer rating is Jacksonville. That fact doesn't really bode well for them. Last Week: 25, 0.903

26. Minnesota (-2.940): The Packers thoroughly beat the Vikings last Thursday, and their numbers aren't good enough to overcome that. Teddy Bridgewater will probably get injured again as long as that offensive line gives up 2.8 sacks/game. Last Week: 19, 6.112

27. St. Louis (-6.160): The Rams have an abysmal pass defense (0.2 sacks per game, 7.3 incompletions forced per game). That won't fly in today's NFL. Last Week: 28, -7.720

28. Tennessee (-6.165): That loss should sting for a while. Jake Locker can't make plays with his feet if he's lying on his back (2.8 sacks/game allowed). Last Week: 29, -9.451

29. Tampa Bay (-7.516): Lovie Smith seems to have found a way to inspire the Buccaneers, but they're not quite there yet. They should invest in their pass defense a little more since they give up 7.7 yards per attempt. Last Week: 30, -10.888

30. New York Jets (-7.662): The Jets were clearly outmatched by the Chargers and failed to score at all. Averaging 5.5 yards per pass attempt isn't going to help that problem. Last Week: 27, -0.879

31. Oakland (-11.307): The Raiders had a bye this week, but weren't going to move really anywhere with that score. Last Week: 31, -11.307

32. Jacksonville (-20.474): If I wanted to talk about what was wrong with the Jaguars, I would have to go through everything. But I'm almost at 1600 words, so I won't. Last Week: 32, -22.488

What are your thoughts? Which teams are too high? Too low? What about the Eagles? Have your say in the comments below!

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